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Bertel Schmitt and his Spark(tm)

Bertel Schmitt spent his formative years in Munich, Germany, where he started an early career as a Rock 'n' Roll journalist. The offer of twice the pay (for starters) turned him into a copywriter for GGK, at the time one of the hottest advertising agencies in Europe. He became Creative Director and later the head of their Duesseldorf office, the largest in the chain.

During a four year sabbatical from advertising (at the tender age of 30), BS launched and managed the US subsidiary of 2001, a German publisher of books and records with a strong cult following. Four years later he followed a call(ing) back to GGK. Working out of their New York office, he assisted MTV in establishing a beachhead in Europe. In 1989, he started his own advertising agency with offices in New York and Duesseldorf. He is chairman and Creative Director of Graf, Bertel, Buczek Co. and the client he wrote his first piece of copy for in 1973 (Volkswagen) is still his most favorite pastime.

In another life, he picked up a copy of Popular Electronics at one of the airport magazine stores in Europe, saw an article about a gizmo called the "Altair Computer" and sent a check to some unknown company in California. He hand soldered his first (second and third) machine and was bitten by the bug. A permanent condition with no cure. He developed what was (according to Nick Negroponte) probably the first interactive video installation for Volkswagen, involving (in the late 70's) an early Apple II, several U-matics, a custom hardware and software interface and probably half a million Deutschmarks worth of video. In 1988, he started a software development company in New York, whose one and only client was IBM. He developed one of the first Windows-hosted multimedia scripting languages called "Slideshow". Sleep deprivation drove him back into advertising. Incurable as it is, his involvement with computers continues. He's a sought after tester and consultant for some major and soon-to-be-major hardware and software companies and he spends what little spare time he has as the Sysop for Adobe Premiere on CompuServe.

With his wife Winn, an accomplished artist, he divides his time between New York, Duesseldorf and Hana, Maui.

You can contact Bertel at DVCentral dot org.

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Written mostly by Bertel Schmitt.  Maintained by Alexei Gerulaitis.

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